Sunday, June 30, 2013

bagan central hotel

after a long ride from Yangon to Bagan, i thought that any flat surface in an enclosed room would make a good sleeping spot. until we reached the hotel that we're staying, it was a surprise. i expected a hostel that would put us in one hot dorm-type room. it was the other way around.
a place with a decently designed lobby and bungalows inside a spacious compound brought in excitement. instead of running to our beds at 2:00am, we opted to order for coffee and requested if we can stay longer in the open space. as if we didn't lack sleep.
since the staff were about to sleep, they requested us to move to the space near our rooms. spent some time chatting, deciding what to do the next day. no particular itinerary but just to take a short walk around New Bagan. 
we rented for three rooms with air-condition. cost per room was USD38 with television, two beds and spacious room and a light breakfast meal. our guide in Yangon indeed made a good recommendation. 

good points for this hotel:
- spacious rooms with TV, air-condition and each rooms have toilet
- spacious and relaxing open dining area
- safe area and is just along the main road 
- hotel can arrange van for tour or as transpo within Bagan


Bagan Central Hotel
No 15&16 Khayay St., New Bagan 
Mandalay Region, Myanmar
Tel:061-65057/65265


yangon to bagan options:
by plane: daily flights are available from Yangon to Bagan (Nyaung U) via Mandalay Air (1hr20mins) or one an also fly from Yangon to Mandalay (1hr 30mins) then bus trip to Bagan (2hours).

by bus: there are several available bus liner that serves this route.
by train: has daily scheduled trips (16h-18rs)


Myanmar related posts:
First Day in Yangon
Travel Guide to Myanmar
Why am i going to Myanmar?
On the road from Yangon to Bagan
The Charm of New Bagan

Sunday, June 23, 2013

the charm of new bagan

though its name might give an impression of a modern town or a city, New Bagan remains laid back and rustic. apart from the number of temple ruins, New Bagan is not so different from Old Bagan.
houses have big lawns but does not go higher than two floors. roads are cemented but overlapped by thick dust. sacred shrines and spacious halls around town but seemed empty. old cars and trucks deprived by time moves the city life but it still takes a major role for commerce. 
like a grotto in provincial towns in the Philippines, Buddhist pagodas serves as shrines for prayer and offerings. lauded through flowers and incense in the hopes of enlightenment and samsara. this gave us a glimpse of why pagodas and temples were built in great numbers around Bagan. 
coming out of the pagoda's small plaza, kids with all their smiles and thanaka approached us asking where we are from. what i noticed around town, every time we would mention Philippines, they would show us a look something like trying to figure out where that is but in the end will give a sudden surprise reply "oh Philippines!".
these kids roam around this little town when there's no class. selling postcards and personal art piece of daily life and depictions of temples to tourists. all for the reason to earn "lucky money" ,as they would call it, taking advantage of the growing tourist influx. 
the little that they get from these might be too small to help the family but is way better than begging. i hope that at least one day, i'll be able to return to this community. in a longer span for volunteerism that those smiles deserve.
as we head back to our hotel, we found a restaurant that had a sign "Free WIFI". an unusual signage to this side of town of which even our hotel does not have. ordered a local soup and coffee to match this short time to update friends and family of our location after more than a day without internet.
plane: daily flights are available from Yangon to Bagan (Nyaung U) via Mandalay Air (1hr 20mins) or one can also fly from Yangon to Mandalay (1hr 30mins) then bus trip to Bagan (2hours).
bus: there are several available bus liner that serves this route.

van: you can find van options at the airport through travel agencies. you can negotiate from there. make sure to check the van capacity and assure air-condition is good. (8-9hrs)
train: has daily scheduled trips (16h-18rs)


Myanmar related posts:
First Day in Yangon
Travel Guide to Myanmar
Why am i going to Myanmar?
On the road from Yangon to Bagan

Saturday, June 1, 2013

my 2013 top 15 pinoy travel blogs


i thought listing down 15 Top Pinoy Travel Blogs for 2013 would be easy. i thought 15 was a lot but not when you find many interesting emerging travel blogs. since this is for 2013, i based it on 2013 posts and considered less of the format and design but more on the information that these blogs has been useful to me.

amazing photos matched with amazing stories of places and people often times missed out by many. two blogs that i'ven been following since i started blogging ironwulf and lagalog retained it as my top favorite blog. lantaw's focus on outdoor brings out the best in landscape.

fun read for seemingly endless travels of pinaytraveljunkie with little Luna as the highlight. tandem travel blog fliptravels has been a source of funny travel stories on the road. while flipnomad brings out the best of what is beyond Philippines including features of world travelers.

the lakwatsero and thepinaysolobackpacker has been a great source for travel informations and recommendations. a personal favorite would also be lakas ng trip that covers an extensive information of Palawan, may it be North, South or Central.

journeyingjames and pinoyadventurista moves around the Philippines for new spots and activities. one day you'll find them by the beach the next day they're in Manila. when it comes to updated and consistent trekking info pinoymountaineer and ivanlakwatsero would definitely stand out on my list.

in finding new hotels i find chyngreyes and justwandering useful. their blogs comes in photos that entice travelers to try out something new. something lux.

my top travel blog list for 2013:
ironwulf
lagalog
lantaw
pinaytraveljunkie
fliptravels
flipnomad
thelakwatsero
thepinaysolobackpacker
lakas ng trip
pinoyadventurista
journeyingjames
pinoymountaineer
ivanlakwatsero
chyngreyes
justwandering

i can extend the list to another 15 or maybe even 30 to list down my other favorite blogs but this for now will do for Out of Town blog's Poll for 2013.

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